Making Space: Looking for examples of Escape from the System

Every child is an artist .The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. -Picasso

Image_Credit: MiniMi, Sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan

Maurizio Cattelan was a nurse. He worked in a hospital mortuary in order to save money to make his escape. He wanted to become an artist but didn’t know how.

After several years he quit his “permanent” contract job. This was unheard of in Italy in the 80’s. He rented a flat in another city and went to make furniture, eventually experimenting with his own designs. He called this act “a leap into the void” which became the title of his autobiography. Once he was able to survive on his designs, he began making artworks. Cattelan is now one of the more famous artists living today. He credits his transformation to this leap he took so many years ago.

“And he got his way, Benya Krik, because he was passionate, and passion holds sway over the world.” -Isaac Babel, Tales of Odessa

One might say you need talent to achieve such status, but perhaps in some cases passion can supplant this need, especially once you’ve expanded your imagination to new boundaries. But how do you identify the boundaries on your own construction of reality?

In a series of interviews, we’ll examine some less famous (but no less important) people who have made similar leaps. We’ll be looking for traits that these stories share in order to identify tools used in the process. This is not a recipe for enlightenment, rather it’s a case study of persons who have escaped their enclosures and changed their perspectives and that of others.

If you know anyone that has a similar profile, please get in touch with us , we’d love to interview them! Write to

- This post was originally posted by a community member who wishes to remain anonymous.